Monday, December 29, 2014


The holidays are such a great time for movies! We were lucky enough to see three of them in the past week -- and I present them to you in order of preference.

WILD starring Reese Witherspoon, after the memoir by Cheryl Strayed. I've blogged already about how much I loved the book -- so I had high hopes tempered by past experiences of movie adaptations not living up to the books that inspired them.

The material here is raw and real and seemed like it might have been a bit of a puzzle to piece together. All that backstory -- and yet it is beautifully done. You get enough of Cheryl Strayed's internal thoughts and scenes of her past. You appreciate her journey and how it changed her. I thought it was beautifully done. (But, no, I have no interest in hiking 1,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Just day trips for me, thank you very much.)

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, about Stephen Hawking's life. No doubt, Stephen Hawking's life is rich and inspiring. I loved that the focus here was the woman behind the man, the love story -- and how it fell apart. (Longtime readers may remember a poem I wrote about Einstein's daughter -- it seems that brilliant scientists have a knack for being more committed to their science than to their families... this seemed the case for Hawking as well, and I couldn't help but feel like he was likely more troublesome/less likeable in real life than how he's portrayed in the movie. This SLATE article sets the record straight.) The movie was beautifully made, but it just didn't feel quite honest in the way that WILD did.

Finally, finally the final HOBBIT movie! Can I just say there is something wrong when it takes a person longer to see the movie(s) based on a book than to read the actual book?!

I loved reading THE HOBBIT, and I still love the old animated version of the story. And I had high hopes that this third movie would be more enjoyable than the previous two... alas. I fell asleep in this one, too! Too much darkness, too much conversation, too much dragging things out. I can't imagine watching any of these three again, and I'm sort of mad that they didn't just make one killer movie that contained the whole of Bilbo Baggins' journey. Sigh.

What movies have you seen lately? We still have UNBROKEN and INTO THE WOODS on our short list... hope to get to them this week!

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